Craig Alston, saxophones
Allyn Johnson, piano
Mike Pope, bass
Eric Kennedy, drums
Tickets: $20 in advance/$23 at door/$10 full-time student with ID
Craig Alston is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore who is best known as the saxophonist for Fertile Ground. Craig began performing with Fertile Ground while attending Morgan State University. As the band became more successful, Craig chose to leave college and pursue his passion.
Fertile Ground’s sound was influenced by Sade, Fela Kuti, Miles Davis Quintet and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. As a member of Fertile Ground, Craig has traveled to the United Kingdom (UK), Japan, Belgium, France, Croatia, Austria, and elsewhere sharing it's unique blend of jazz, soul and world music. The broad exposure has allowed him to learn and grow from the various musicians and styles that he has encountered.
In addition to being the saxophonist for Fertile Ground, he also performs under his own name. As an independent artist, Craig plays the saxophone, bass, or keyboard. As a saxophonist, Craig has played with jazz legends such as Larry Willis, David Murray, Oliver Lake, John Hicks and Jimmy Heath. He has performed with artists from various musical genres such as Brian Culbertson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Soulful Symphony and Drew Davidsen. Craig has recorded with Fertile Ground,The Basement Boys, Jsoul, vocalists Angela Johnson, Julie Dexter, Deborah Bond and many others. He has played at Artscape, the African-American Heritage Festival, the Baltimore Museum of Art and many other places locally and nationally. He recently won the Chick-Webb Jazz Combo competition.
However, his talents extend beyond his ability to play instruments. He has been leading the Eubie Blake Legacy Band for the past seven years. Under his leadership, the Eubie Blake Legacy Band has also performed at Artscape, the African-American Heritage Festival and other festivals in Maryland. Although Craig is a jazz musician at heart, he is able to play rhythm and blues, soul, hip-hop and gospel. Because of his musical diversity, Genese Music and Entertainment selected him to be their Senior Consultant for its Obia Soul label.
Prior to his pursuing his music career, Craig studied Music Education at Morgan State University. Although Craig left college to perform, he has never forgotten his roots in education. Craig is the music director and instrumental music teacher for the Maryland Summer Center. The program focuses on teaching gifted and talented students to understand and play jazz. He also taught music at SAX, Summer Activity Extraordinaire and the Timothy Baptist Summer Music Program where students with little to no instrumental experience begin learning to play instruments.
Craig’s goal is to finish his education degree and open a music school in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Craig is currently working as the Clarinet/saxophone teacher for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Orchkids program at Lockerman Bundy Elementary School. He is also touring with award winning contemporary jazz guitarist Drew Davidsen as the keyboardist/musical director..